Mona di Orio Discovery Set + Tasmania Photo Essay


Post by Tina G


Perfume choices are, by their nature, exceedingly personal. I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for fragrance with family and friends, but how to do this in a way that lets them make their own choices is tricky. What I may recommend could be abhorrent to someone else, and I don’t want to risk putting anyone off the joys of exploring new fragrances! So, while on holiday in Australia’s largest island Tasmania with some friends, I decided to set up a perfume testing session as a bit of fun and see where it led us.

Mona di Orio Discovery Set

makethumbPhoto Stolen Peony Melbourne

I chose to take along Mona di Orio’s Discovery Pack, which is the set of eight Les Nombres d’Or line presented in 5ml roller ball applicators. Each of the eight fragrances – Cuir, Eau Absolue, Musc, Vanille, Ambre, Rose, Vétyver and Tubéreuse – were decanted into spray containers for travel.

01 - Discovery Set

Tasmania is a beautiful part of the world. The island State lies to the South-East of Australia, across the wilds of Bass Strait from Melbourne. The four of us went for a long weekend, staying on the rugged East Coast in a little stone cottage by the ocean. Yes, it was as gorgeous as it sounds! We had a great time exploring, eating, drinking, and just generally resting up. I’ve included a few photos of the trip as a taster of what we experienced, it was wonderful.

09 - the decants

For the testing, the Discovery Set was set up with fragrance strips and I explained the way fragrance works, top, mid and base notes and how perfume evolves over time, particularly on skin. We all sat down and tried each of the line. The Cuir was the least popular, with an “Oh, God, no!!” reaction being the strongest of the day! Two friends decided on what they’d like to wear the next day and give a proper run though. One friend decided to decline, as family members are particularly sensitive to chemicals and wearing perfume on a regular basis wouldn’t work for her. The fragrances chosen were Musc, and Rose. I chose Vétyver.

10 - penguin friends

We noted that all three fragrances got us through the day – at least 8 hours. The Rose was BIG on opening, a really full and rich ‘real’ rose scent. My friend was a bit worried that it would be too big, but it did settle nicely into something softer and more wearable. The Musc I had trouble smelling, but my other friend enjoyed it very much. I encouraged them both to keep sniffing through the day and see if there were any changes.

Peony Melbourne has Mona di Orio Discovery Set $145
Parfum1 has the Mona di Orio Discovery Set $145

At the end of the trip I then let them choose a small 1ml decant to take home and play with. Musc, Eau Absolue, and Vanille went to one home, Rose went to another with my encouragement of Amber, and I took back Cuir, Vétyver, and Tubéreuse – which happen to be my favourites anyway. Funny the way things work out!

Tina G

Tasmania Photo Essay

06 - Cottages

07 - Our Cottage

08 - beetroot cured salmon salad

03 - The Hazards

05 - Broken Shells

04 - Freaky

02 - Sunset

All photos donated by TinaG unless specified


16 thoughts on “Mona di Orio Discovery Set + Tasmania Photo Essay

  1. Those are some tantalisingly beautiful photos, definitely makes me want to take a vacation myself.

    And I aboslutely love the Vanille and Vetyver from the MdO nombres d’or line, although all of them are interesting. Just gorgeous compositions the both of them, with enough presence to feel worth your time but not too cloying or overwhelming.


    • Hi Yin, and thanks! The Vetyver is lovely, I’ve not given the Vanille a proper run through yet. The MdO set was perfect as an intro – excellent, interesting, quality perfumes. And you’re right, not too cloying and very wearable. Was fun!
      Tina x


  2. TINAAAAA! I am so happy you went and jealous you went without me.
    What a wonderful holiday, I love Tasmania. Jin is yet to see our Apple Isle and I think we need to take a car, and a week.
    One day soon.
    MdO is one of my faves too.
    Portia xx


    • Hi Portia, definitely put Tassie on the list, the food, wine, whisky, cheese, ice cream, scenery… Everything was spectacular. An easy drive holiday too.
      Tina x


  3. Hi Tina,
    Great fun idea to have a sampling getaway! It’s a shame it didn’t seem to be met with outright enthusiasm, but hopefully you set a couple of people’s minds working! That MdO Vetyver is divine btw.
    Lastly, any chance you’d reveal the name of that cottage you stayed at? Looks incredible!


    • Hi Gwizz, the girls found the whole thing very fun, but as curious as I was to see how they were finding things, I didn’t want to push with too many questions! Just hints at what to keep an eye out for. And introducing new terms, like ‘scrubber’ – redefining that meaning! Not that we had that experience, but it was a ‘what to do if you hate it’ lesson. The cottages were in Swansea – Piermont Retreat. Great spot. 🙂
      Tina x


  4. What a lovely holiday! Early in perfumistahood I got a Mona discovery set, and never took to the other scents in a big way but the Vanille is the closest thing I have to a “signature” scent.


    • Hi FeralJasmine, the MdO discovery set is great, and I loved that each of us chose differently. I now also have the joy of working my way through them! Haven’t got to the Vanille yet… Next!
      Tina x


    • Hey thanks Azar! I really wanted to share a snapshot of Tassie as well as the perfume story. It’s a beautiful place, and we only saw a small part.
      Tina x


  5. Great photos and comments, loved the reaction to Cuir! 🙂 That is actually my favourite Mona (along with the Oud) but it’s definitely an acquired taste.


    • Hi Tara C – thanks! The reaction to Cuir was funny – I decided not to tell them I’d just bought a bottle….!! 🙂 I really like it and find it very wearable.
      Tina x


    • Hi Undina, and thanks! My pleasure to share some travel
      stories. It is a beautiful place. As an introduction to fragrance testing I think we all had a bit if fun. I left the testing strips & fragrances out, and was so tickled to catch my friends going back at intervals for sneaky sniffs! Great!
      Tina x


  6. Loved this post – a great idea for a friends getaway. I’ve never been to Tassie but one of these days but everyone says it’s quite beautiful. I’m a kiwi and a lot of people say it’s like NZ. … I’ve been thinking about getting this set so your post came at an opportune moment. You know when you have sooooo many things on your list and you just don’t know what to get next and then something tempts you on ebay which wasn’t on your list but it’s too good to pass up. And then I’m never getting around to actually buying this set and I’ve tried the Vanille and the Cuir and I love both of them. Funny reaction to the Cuir – but I’m sure I would have had exactly the same thoughts when I started out trying different perfumes.


    • Hi meganinstmaxime – I’d agree that Tassie is similar to NZ, but I kept getting lots of flashes when I was there. Sometimes it reminded me of NZ, England, Scotland, other parts of NSW… But all together it was it’s own place. I also didn’t get inland to the wilds which I can imagine is different again … So yes definitely go if you get the chance. Lovely spot.

      The MdO set is a great taster and worth the investment. 5ml goes a long way… Only issue is that the roller balls have a tendency to drip after first use. Badly. Which is why I decanted for travel, wasn’t convinced that the flight would be a good thing for them. But by decanting I was also able to share 1ml as a take home pressie which was fun.

      The Cuir reaction was pretty cute! And unexpected, as I quite like it.

      Tina x


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